How much is an international adoption going to cost?

by Sue Merriam
(International Adoption Facts and Information)

What is an international adoption going to cost? That's typically the first question most people ask when considering international adoption, and while an international adoption is certainly not cheap, it is doable with some budgeting and some fundraising.

So What's the Bottom Line?

The answer is it depends on the country you choose. An adoption from Ethiopia or China can be $23,000 or less in American dollars, while an adoption from Ukraine or Russia could be $30,000 or more.

Why is it So Much?

You're not just hiring one person to facilitate your international adoption, but a whole team of people both within the United States and abroad. An agency has rental costs, copying expenses, translation fees and staff salaries to pay. They want to help you, but they also have to think about the bottom line. Expect your agency fee to be about $4,000.

Then you will have to have a home study done, which costs about $1,500. Add to that the paperwork costs - an additional $200-$500.

Other Costs

Then there's the international fee - the largest part of your international adoption cost. The international fee will cover everything done abroad to help facilitate your international adoption and will include attorney fees, court costs and the any other staff hired overseas. Expect your international fee to be at least $10,000.

And then finally there are travel costs. You will have to pay for airfare for you and a spouse and other family members and a return ticket for your newly adopted child. You will also have to pay lodging fees and all meals while you are in your adopted child's country. Travel expenses are typically $3,000 or more.


Yep, it seems like a lot, and many couples are intimidated by the costs of an international adoption, but don't despair! You don't have to come up with all that money at once - you typically pay it out during the one or more years you are pursuing your adoption. Plus there are all kinds of creative ways to pay for your adoption. I'll cover some of those in my next article.

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